- Environmental Impact
- Future Planning
- M-1 Rail
- MDOT Construction
- Meetings and Events
- Other Transit Systems
- Project History
- Staying Informed
- Streetcar Operations
- The Modern Streetcar
Yes, businesses certified as Detroit-based and minority or women-owned have been awarded contracts for services that include demolition, trucking, sewer and utilities, Flagging, welding, surveying, paving and fencing.
Detroit-based companies, along with women, minority and disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE), have been awarded nearly 30 percent of the construction and concurrent road work for the M-1 RAIL streetcar project. That amounts to nearly $40 million in contracts awarded to Detroit-based and certified women, minority and DBE businesses. M-1 RAIL’s inclusion percentage is twice the national average when compared to similar projects.
The Detroit People Mover is an elevated circulator system within Downtown Detroit. The Woodward Avenue streetcar is a linear system co-mingled with vehicular traffic that will travel north and south along Woodward Avenue with 12 stops between Congress Street at the south end and West Grand Boulevard at the north end. They are complementary systems to move residents, visitors and employees.
It is estimated the costs to operate and maintain the modern streetcar system will be approximately $5.5-million each year. M-1 RAIL has raised enough funds to operate it for up-to 10 years. Operations will be supplemented by revenues from fare box and advertising.
It’s too early to know exact pricing, but we are working closely with other transit providers to create an affordable, seamless transfer process.
Bus service will not be affected. For example, Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) Route 53 (Woodward Avenue) will continue to operate as usual. Route 53 service will continue with established headways along the corridor during the day and after the evening rush hour. SMART Buses will also continue to operate.
One way is to transfer to the Detroit People Mover at the Grand Circus Park station and get off at the Times Square People Mover Station adjacent to the Rosa Parks Transit Center. Another is to walk or bike three blocks along Michigan Avenue from Campus Martius.
Each streetcar vehicle will have brake lights in the back to inform drivers and cyclists when the streetcar will stop at a station.
The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) is currently studying additional transit options along Woodward Avenue from Downtown Detroit to Downtown Pontiac. The streetcar is being incorporated into that analysis, extensions or parallel routes adjacent to Woodward Avenue. The Woodward Avenue Transit Alternatives Analysis (AA) is considering different modes and alignments along Woodward Avenue. The AA has been coordinating with the streetcar and will continue to do so, see http://www.woodwardanalysis.com for more information on that project.
The streetcar is designed for use in high pedestrian areas. Due to streetcar vehicles operating in the roadway and being required to follow normal traffic flow. This creates a more predictable environment for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
Where the streetcar will be center-running, north of Burroughs Street, there will be a different impact for bicyclists. South of Burroughs Street, where the streetcar will be side-running, cyclists are encouraged to use alternate routes. Should they choose Woodward in that area they should ride between the rails or in the available parking lane. Cyclists will need to be cautious when crossing or coming in contact with the streetcar tracks so they don’t fall in the flange. M-1 is participating in additional outreach within non-motorized groups to continue to discuss additional steps that can be taken to ensure bike safety along and around the Woodward Corridor. M-1 is dedicated to working with all partners to continue to improve ride-ability and safety for cyclists along all routes.
It is expected there will be increased streetcar service during large special events to handle additional ridership. For special events that close Woodward Avenue at Campus Martius Park, the streetcar will turn around near the Campus Martius station and not go to the Congress/Larned station. Likewise, for any special event south of I-75 (Comerica Park/Ford Field/Fox Theatre), the streetcar service will end at the Sibley station and then turn around.
During the MDOT rebuild of the bridge that carries Woodward Avenue over I-75, traffic flow will be reduced to a single lane in each direction at designated times. The bridge replacement project will require around-the-clock lane closures and weekend full freeway closures on I-75.
During the MDOT rebuild of the bridge that carries Woodward Avenue over I-94, traffic flow will be reduced to a single lane in each direction at designated times. The bridge replacement work will require off-peak single and double lane closures on eastbound and westbound I-94 between John R and Cass Avenue.
Initially, after completing significant analysis, M-1 RAIL recommended implementation of a 3.3 mile fixed rail modern streetcar; however in 2010 M-1 RAIL decided to partner with the City of Detroit and other government agencies in an attempt to lengthen the project to be a 9-mile Light Rail Transit (LRT) System. In 2011 it was determined for fiscal reasons the LRT was not going to be feasible. In late 2011, M-1 RAIL embarked on re-envisioning and validating for a shorter 3.3-mile modern streetcar system. M-1 RAIL worked with the Federal Transit Authority (FTA), the State of Michigan, the City of Detroit, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) and a range of stakeholders to validate the capital and operating costs for a modern streetcar project; to confirm existing private and philanthropic funding, secure new commitments; and to develop the complex financial and organizational structures required to implement this unique public-private partnership. The validation process concluded in the spring of 2012 with a commitment by M-1 RAIL to move forward with the proposed modern streetcar system by M-1 RAIL.
It is expected that the Woodward Avenue Streetcar will ignite over $3 billion in economic development over 10 years, including 10,000 new housing units over 5 million square feet of new commercial space within a 10-year period. Over 130 Transit Oriented Development (TOD) projects are currently underway, with more in the pipeline.
It is expected the hours of operation will be Monday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 6 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., and Saturday 8 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. with headways between 8 and 12 minutes. It’s expected that on Sunday, the streetcar will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with headways at 12 minutes. During special events the streetcar may come more frequently or hours of operation might be adjusted appropriately.
- The streetcar would result in lower transit travel times as compared to those riding the bus along Woodward Avenue.
- Travel times for those in motor vehicles may increase slightly. However, all intersections and approaches will operate at acceptable levels of service.
- Air quality in the region will improve because of the streetcar.
- There is the potential for some noise impacts near the Tech Center due to the turn off of Woodward Avenue. However, there would be no vibration impacts.
- There may be some hazardous materials found at the Tech Center and Traction Power Substation (TPSS) sites. If we find hazardous materials there, these will be remediated.
- Five historic areas/properties will have visual adverse effects; however, these will be mitigated through station design during the design phase.
- There may be some disturbance to the Original Protestant Cemetery, a previously recorded archaeological site, located near Larned Street and Woodward Avenue. This location will be monitored and mitigated during construction if disturbed.
- On-street parking will be reduced on one side of Woodward Avenue. Pedestrian access along the corridor would not change significantly.
- Although safe for the riding and walking public, the curb-side lane will have some negative impacts to cyclists riding along Woodward Avenue due to the risk of narrow cycle wheels falling into the streetcar rail flange. Cyclists would be encouraged to use alternate routes to prevent this possibility. M-1 is dedicated to working with all partners to continue to improve ride-ability and safety for bikers along those routes.
The capital costs total $140 million.
What happens when a vehicle or bus breaks down in front of the streetcar or parks in the streetcar lane?
A towing company will be on-call to remove any vehicles or buses that may break down or park in the streetcar lane in order to reduce any delays in service.
A sleek 2 or 3 car vehicle that travels along a street traveled on vehicular traffic on a fixed rail. Other cities that use the modern streetcar system include San Francisco, Seattle and Portland.
We communicate directly with businesses about construction activities so they can make the appropriate preparations for their employees and customers. Early steps we took were to install way-finding signage to help pedestrians locate businesses along the corridor; running radio advertising and a promotional campaign and included information about businesses on M-1 marketing materials and social media channels. Our partners at Midtown Detroit, Inc. and Downtown Detroit Partnership are working on technical support programs to help businesses.
Midtown Detroit, Inc. and Downtown Detroit Partnership’s managers contact information can be found below:
Melanie Piana, Small Business Success Manager
Downtown Detroit Partnership
Phone: (313) 566-8250
Zones of Responsibility: 1 – 6, Jefferson Avenue to I-75, Washington Boulevard to Madison Street
Gregoire Louis, Business Mitigation Manager
Midtown Detroit, Inc.
Phone: (313) 420.6000
Zones of Responsibility: 7-15, I-75 to Chandler, Cass Avenue to John R. Street
M-1 RAIL is a non-profit organization formed in 2007 to lead the design, construction, and future operation of a 3.3-mile circulating streetcar co-mingled with vehicular traffic along Woodward Avenue between Larned Street and West Grand Boulevard in Detroit, Michigan.
The streetcar will have designated station locations, level boarding and pre-paid tickets. This reduces the amount of time needed for people to board the streetcar. In addition, the streetcar will have transit phases, or an additional, dedicated light in some locations to allow it to easily go through signalized intersections.
Preliminary estimates are around 5,000 to 8,000 riders per day. The streetcar will improve public transit service and provide greater mobility options along the corridor for all.
MDOT’s role in the project is to reconstruct Woodward Avenue from Sibley to Chandler Street; Complete rebuild of the Woodward Bridges over I-75 and I-94; Complete Streets Improvements; Streetscape Improvements; Drainage Improvements; Signal Upgrades; Southeast Michigan Transportation Operations Center Enhancements.
The estimated travel time from Grand Boulevard to the Congress/Larned station is approximately between 8 and 12 minutes. The time for the bus is slightly longer.
Ridership costs will be finalized as we get closer to the completion of construction, however it’s estimated it will cost $1.50 for a walk-up fare; there will also be discounts for seniors, students and others.
Construction is expected to be completed and operational in late 2016.
Access to parking facilities will be maintained at all times during construction. There are 29,000 parking spaces located throughout the Woodward Corridor. Call the Detroit Municipal Parking Department at 313-221-2500 or visit www.detroitmi.gov. Another good resource to find available parking during construction is http://detroit.bestparking.com.
M-1 RAIL was formed by private sector and philanthropic leaders as a result of the National Football League Super Bowl Detroit hosted in 2006. During that event when tens-of-thousands of visitors converged on Detroit, it became evident there was a need for reliable transit alternatives that connect to key Detroit destinations within the Downtown, Midtown, New Center, and North End / Central Woodward communities.
The streetcar is for people who live, work, and visit the Woodward Avenue corridor and beyond. There are currently 36,000 residents and 135,000 jobs along the corridor with plenty of attractions including Comerica Park, Ford Field, Hart Plaza, Campus Martius, the Fox Theatre, the Fillmore Theatre, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Symphony and other arts institutions, the Detroit Public Library, Wayne State University, Detroit Medical Center, Henry Ford Hospital and many more.
Modern streetcar lines serve as connector, as well as economic catalysts, spurring investment and growth along their routes. Analysis of streetcar systems in other cities when compared to a bus indicate they have a higher passenger capacity, are more reliable, offer a smoother, quieter ride, and provide easier access for the disabled
A modern streetcar system also creates more opportunity for economic development to occur along Woodward Avenue because developers are more likely to invest money since the streetcar is a permanent transportation fixture.
The EA supplements the Environmental Impact Statement done for the previously proposed light rail project, as the streetcar was an evaluated alternative and phase of that project with slightly modified elements. Although we thoroughly evaluated a light rail system along Woodward Avenue in an environmental impact statement for that project, changes in having a shorter streetcar system along Woodward Avenue warranted this Supplemental Environmental Assessment. This is done to meet federal environmental requirements.
Yes, but not in the construction work zone. Sidewalks will be open during construction unless otherwise marked. Cyclists are encouraged to use side streets during construction.
No work will be allowed on Woodward Avenue or the crossroads during New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, and July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Access for emergency vehicles (fire, ambulance and police) into the work zone and surrounding neighborhoods will be maintained at all times.
Safe passage around the work zone will be maintained at all times. Sidewalks, ADA compliant ramps and crosswalks will be maintained at all times, except where detours are required.
All streetcar stations and vehicles will be ADA accessible. Streetcar stations will have level boarding with the vehicle. There will be sounds and lighting systems to indicate when the streetcar doors open and close. There will be a driver on each vehicle manually operating the doors.
M-1 RAIL has worked closely with the City of Detroit Special Events Office to coordinate with all events being planned for the Woodward Corridor. M-1 RAIL appreciates the important role special events play in offering residents and visitors the quality of life amenities they desire. This is why we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure streetcar construction and events can take place simultaneously in Detroit with minimal disruption and maximum enjoyment for all who live, work and play in the city.
Streetside parking and parking meters on Woodward Avenue will not be permitted during construction activities.
Yes, cross streets will generally remain open, except during temporary closures/detours.
The People Mover will operate during construction with no interruption.
M-1 is working with current service providers, transit partners and participating in the Woodward Transit Alternative Analysis to identify and plan for future transit expansion and linkages.
The streetcar will serve curb-side stations for nearly the entire length of the route, transitioning to center-running at the north and south ends of the system. The Woodward Avenue streetcar will be center-running north of Burroughs Street and side-running for the majority of the current footprint south of Burroughs Street. Side-running was chosen in this geography because it is more conducive to the frequent and safe stops that support walkability, economic growth, and the businesses and attractions already established along the route.
Yes, the streetcar will operate year-round and through winter snow events. Stations will be shoveled to ensure level boarding and snow will not be plowed onto station platforms.
The M-1 RAIL streetcar will travel north and south on both sides of Woodward Avenue for 3.3-miles between Larned Street and W. Grand Blvd. The streetcar will service 20 stations (16 curbside and 4 median running) at 12 locations.
Yes, every streetcar vehicle will have a properly trained driver.
The streetcars will require on-wire operation between Henry and Canfield; it will be off-wire everywhere else along the line.
Strategies have been put in place to ensure that a lack of work activity for more than one week will require the removal and replacement of lane restrictions.
There will be an emergency phone and closed circuit security systems at all of the stations. A driver will be present on each of the streetcar vehicles and will have the ability to contact local law enforcement and/or other public safety organizations.
The I-75 Freeway will be reduced to three lanes in each direction at Woodward Avenue during construction. Both directions of I-75 will be closed between M-10 (Lodge Freeway) and I-375 four times during construction. Full closures will begin at 9 p.m. Friday and end by 5 a.m. Mondays. During off-peak hours, both directions of I-75 will be reduced to two lanes at Woodward Avenue. Double lane closures are restricted to 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Information about I-75 Freeway closures will be announced in advance.
The I-94 Freeway will be closed between I-75 and M-10 (Lodge Freeway) four times during construction of the streetcar line. Full closures will begin at 9 p.m. Fridays and end by 5 a.m. Mondays. Single and double-lane closures will be restricted to 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays, and 11 a.m. to 8 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays between Cass Avenue and John R. Information about I-94 Freeway closures will be announced in advance.
Yes, however pedestrian access to commercial establishments and residences will be maintained. Parking facilities, loading bays for local vehicles, alleys and driveways will be maintained at all times.
No. Various sections of Woodward Avenue will require different barriers implemented.
- Between Adams Street and Chandler Street one lane of traffic in each direction along with a left turn lane will be maintained at all times.
- One lane of traffic around Campus Martius will be open at all times for emergency situations